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Collinsville took part in National Night Out for the first time Wednesday, promoting police-citizen partnerships while taking a stand against crime and drugs. ART HADDAWAY/Owasso Reporter

It was a lively scene along Collinsville’s historic Main Street Wednesday evening as hundreds of residents gathered to celebrate National Night Out (see PHOTO gallery).

National Night Out, hosted by the National Association of Town Watch, is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-citizen partnerships while taking a stand against crime and drugs.

The event played host to free food, games and entertainment, and brought together local police departments, county organizations, fire departments and fellow community members to commemorate the occasion.

The Collinsville Police and Fire departments were joined by the GRDA Police Department, Tulsa County Sheriff's Department, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Cherokee Marshals.

“I want to thank all of our law enforcement that are here,” Collinsville Mayor Bud York said at the event. “These are the folks that keep us safe … we appreciate you, we know that you’ve stepping in harm’s way on our behalf, and we are very thankful for it.”

Collinsville Chief of Police Matt Burke added, “I do want to thank everybody for coming out tonight. National Night Out is about community, it’s about building partnerships … more than anything, this is about our guys and our department.”

Now in its 34th year, National Night Out has continued to attract millions of neighbors from all 50 states during the first week of August. Wednesday served as Collinsville’s first time participating in the event.

Collinsville residents like Dan Robbins and Angela Sellers showed up with their friends and family to offer their support of local law enforcement.

“This right here shows exactly what type of police force we have,” Robbins said. “They’re outgoing, always able to lend a hand, and always have a smile on their face.”

Sellers added, “Just the community feeling of everybody being able to come together and supporting our law enforcement and our firefighters and just getting to spend time together.”

Collinsville City staff said they plan to continue taking part in National Night Out going forward. For more information on the event, visit natw.org.

Art is a seasoned reporter of over 15 years with an extended background in writing and editing for a variety of publications and organizations.